August 4, 2015
People love a good blog. A good blog brings constant traffic to a site, social shares, and can establish the writer as an expert in their particular niche. A great blog can propel you into superstar status, like the in the case of Julie Powell. She started a blog in August of 2002 called the Julie/Julia Project that chronicled her preparing one recipe every day from Julia Child’s “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” book. The blog was such a success, that it became a best-selling book and later a movie in 2009 called “Julie & Julia” starring Meryl Streep and Amy Adams.
If you’re planning on becoming a household name, writing a great blog is a good way to do that. While it’s easy to start a blog, getting it to be the super awesome blog that gets turned into a movie is going to take some work. Luckily for you, I happen to have some tips to make your blog into a super awesome blog:
#1. Target a specific audience
It may seem like a good idea to spread yourself out in order to appeal to the most people at the same time, but this will just end up being confusing trying to keep on top of various industries, and topics of news. It may also seem like a good idea to simply write about what’s most popular on the web, but the internet has enough cat videos (blasphemy!). You’re going to need to write about something you’re passionate about, as your audience will know when you’re phoning it in, or if you’re full of it.
#2. Write a lot
Content is king as they say, and the only way people are going to be all over your blog is if you have tons of content relevant to your readers. Regular updates keep people coming back to your site day after day or week after week if that’s your publishing schedule. Many bloggers fail to set a schedule to keep their blogs, killing their readership in the process. Write even if you’re stumped about what to write about. Following these tips to get something on the page can help you keep a constant flow. You can also use Google trends to help you know what people are talking about right now, and keep you on top of your industry’s buzz as well as giving you ideas for articles.
Content also gives people something to share to refer others to your blog. Every new post is another chance for someone to share your content making people aware of your work. Search engines like Google give higher priority to sites that have fresh content, so that gives you a boost in the rankings where more people are likely to see your page.
#3. Add pictures
Studies show that articles with pictures get 94% more views than those without. There’s a reason why Pinterest and Instagram are 2 of the world’s most popular social media platforms. Pictures create natural “eye rests” that can break up the monotony of text. Plus, sharing articles with pictures makes them stand out on sites like Twitter and Facebook. You want people to share your work, but you also want those to whom they share it to read it and not let it get lost in the sea of other articles seeking their attention. Don’t just use Google images because you run the risk of violating copyright. Try using sites like Flickr Commons or any other free for use image site.
#4. Write gripping titles
It may seem a little clickbait-y to resort to using power words in your titles but just as long as it’s relevant, and doesn’t rely too much on hyperbole (think- “one weird trick” or “doctors hate him”) it’s a perfectly legit way to draw readers. Expressing the urgency or the usefulness of a post is the name of the game here. You don’t want to lie to your readers of course, because you’ll develop a bad reputation people just plain old hate being tricked.
#5. Share content
Of course you’re going to share your own content on your various social media accounts, but you should also share the work of others. It is recommended you follow the 80/20 rule when sharing work over social media. It refers to the idea that in order to engage users interested in your niche, only 20% of what you post should be dedicated to your work. The remaining 80% should be content that really interests your audience and gets them talking to you. Sharing things that are in your niche is a good way to get influencers to take notice. It’s good to share content from experts you respect and whose ideas you share. They’re more likely to return the favor, turning their audience your way.
#6 Reference your work and others’ often
People appreciate accurate information. Links will allow you to shorten posts so that people can gain greater context into your article’s points as well as serving to verify your statements. This is especially important when you’re first starting out. No one knows who you are just yet, and linking to a reliable source lets people know that you know what you’re talking about.
Linking to others’ work that’s related to your subject is like a vote of confidence from you to them. Writers tend to appreciate this and it may pave the way to new relationships that might lead to mentions on their blogs or even a possible guest spot to give you more exposure.
This is not an exhaustive list by any means, but these are the tried and true tips that will give you a boost in your blog traffic no matter what type of work or niche you’re in. Being active and interacting with your public and contemporaries will go a long way to giving your work that human face that everyone likes to see.
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